The Secret of Ulysses: An Analysis of James Joyce's Ulysses

By Rolf R. Loehrich | Go to book overview

23. GUILT -- INFANTILE AND EXISTENTIAL
Joyce followed Freud in the assertion that man in his infantile state is subjected to psychosomatic disturbances, to be described as a loss of vital powers (libido). These disturbances may be referred to in metaphoric language as 'castration'. Man, in his infantile state, so understood, is castrated to a lesser or a higher degree. Let us see how these changing degrees of castration are dream-experienced by Bloom and Stephen as stated by Joyce:
a. Bloom, the dreamer, is said to have lost his leg as belonging to his dream-body. Virag refers to this loss as 'amputation'. But though this is stated, the dreamer Bloom enjoys the use of his two legs.
b. The whores refer to the penis as the third leg which they promise to stiffen. So, if the dreamer Bloom is said to have lost his leg, we may read this statement as meaning that the dreamer Bloom has lost his penis, belonging to his dreambody. Virag's reference to this amputation would then be read as a statement regarding the dreamer Bloom's castration.

But though this is stated, the dreamer Bloom is not aware of the loss of his penis.

c. The dreamer Stephen is confronted with the octopus in the form of the Three Legs of Man. It is not stated that these legs belong to Stephen and were lost by him. But following our rules of oneirological analysis, we would identify the three legs as belonging to Stephen, and lost to him.

But Stephen is not aware of this fact, and he enjoys the use of his legs and is in possession of his penis-though it is stated that Stephen has lost their unimpeded use, he is impotent.

d. The dreamer Stephen is compared with the spoiled priest who had a "dry rush". The idea is conveyed that Stephen is here in possession of his penis and phallic power, though there is no emission.

But the dreamer Stephen, though obviously in possession of his penis, does not seem to enjoy phallic power, and -- we may infer from Zoe's statement -- may be unable to ejaculate.

-176-

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The Secret of Ulysses: An Analysis of James Joyce's Ulysses
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents vii
  • List of Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1. the Secret 1
  • 2. the Intent 4
  • I - The Interpretation 7
  • 3. the Action 9
  • 4. the Continuity of the Story 13
  • 5. Episode 15 24
  • 6. the Contending Power Groups 55
  • 7. the Lex Eterna 61
  • 8. the Other Dimension 73
  • II- The Code with Joyce 83
  • 9. the Riddles 86
  • 10. Cette Fichue Position 94
  • 11- the Eternal Parents Misjudged As Unfaithful 98
  • 12. the Unfaithfulness of Man 104
  • 13. the Riches of Life 110
  • 14. the Manifestation of God 115
  • III- The Aesthetic Form Of Ulysses 123
  • 15. the Artistic Intent 125
  • 16- the Aesthetic Media: The First Framework 128
  • 17. the Hidden Plot 129
  • 18- Deflections from the Hidden Plot To the Aesthetic Media 132
  • 19. the Changing Viewpoints 136
  • IV- Existence for Joyce 139
  • 20. Fiction or Discovery? 141
  • 21- Bona Fide Dream-Reports And Secondary Thought Elaborations 143
  • 22- Psycho Therapeutics -- the Way Of Atonement 167
  • 23. Guilt -- Infantile and Existential 176
  • 24. Man's Status in Existence 184
  • Index 189
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